Richard Budet | Flashes: 21st Century

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Flashes: 21st Century

by Richard Budet

Flashes premiered to the delight of children, parents, and the “tres cool” of Austin’s nascent avant garde dance scene in the summer of 1982. Hidden for decades, the seminal analog electronic score is reborn in 21st century digital splendor.
Genre: Avant Garde: Electro-Acoustic
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  Song Share Time Download
1. These Are Flashes...
2:36 $0.99
2. Procession of the Durable Mechanical Life-Forms
3:03 $0.99
3. Leftover Light Light from Ancient Stars
4:37 $0.99
4. Irregularis
3:06 $0.99
5. The Syzygy
3:45 $0.99
6. Kami
7:23 $0.99
7. Caving
2:57 $0.99
8. Calendrics
13:32 $0.99
9. Pluribus Mundi
23:51 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Headline: 30th Anniversary Recording of Flashes released...

Flashes - 21st Century
The wait is over. Hidden in the shadows for decades, the seminal analog electronic score from 1982 is reborn in 21st century digital splendor.

Re-experience a trio of agile dancers swirling neon litestix under a canopy of stars, underscored by driving electronic industrial music.
What’s not to like...

Ahead of its time in more ways than one, Flashes premiered to the delight of children, their parents, and the “tres cool” of Austin’s nascent avant garde dance scene in the summer of 1982. Choreographed and performed by Jeff Burke and dancers, Flashes was set to an extended analog Ubiquitous Music score titled Pluribus Mundi (Many Worlds).

Experience the musical evolution of the Pluribus Mundi themes on the 30th Anniversary Recording.

FLASHES, the Concept - Jeff Burke - August 20, 2012

Besides obvious references to Creation Myths: in the beginning was the formless Void (the dark stage) and the Creator (artist) says "let there be light". And there was light and it was good. My basic operational premise was:

Dance is Form and Energy, but “Can there be dance without dancers?”

In modern dance, movement was the medium of expression and modern dance pioneers like Alwin Nicolais and Martha Graham had for decades already de-humanized (removed the human element of facial expression and recognizable human form) much of their work. They did this with masks and fabric. I went one step further and reduced dance to not only pure movement (that would be the principle of abstraction), but I removed FORM and substituted PURE ENERGY in the form of light. I had previously seen Ravel's "Bolero" performed by lasers at LA's Griffith Park Observatory - it was predictable and boring, but that would be the actual ROOTS of my work, the Laser Light Show.

My dance was several 'flashes'. Inspiration for the dance in four parts was fireflies, robots, radio towers and atoms (and inadvertently the galaxies).

The voice-over also explains the concept of movement in an area devoid of air, light, and human bodies.

1. Fireflies - the first section was inspired by the insects flight patterns and blinking lights- i knew that they would be out that night at Zilker Hillside Theater- and I created the first section to mimic the actual insects that would be in the audience. I wrote a score for the first part that consisted of a short voice-over and I recorded the crickets as accompanying musicians in my backyard at Ave F with Shoal Creek behind me. (I still recall the lonely little dog barking from the other side of the creek).

2. The second 'flash' was based on robots. The yellow lights section was as if mechanical men with lights for eyes, hands and feet were performing a dance, In the Japanese Noh theatre, the black-clad prop men move stuff around on stage, you are not supposed to notice them- Well, I turned out all the lights so you could not possibly see the performers - only their TRAILS!

3. The third 'flash', or red light section, was based on the hills west of Austin; there is a line of blinking radio towers that I used to see quite often when I lived off west 6th by Mo-Pac. So the red light section was an homage to those radio towers- hence my request for electrical sounds during that portion.

4. The fourth 'flash', which utilized the litestix, was the spinning section, which was based on an atom which spins and has electrons simultaneously orbiting. As an atom is energy rather than matter, so the subject of the dance was energy (ie., LIGHT) rather than dancer exhibiting movement. Often I performed the final spinning section as a solo dance. One night, I was slamming the litestix against the stage as I performed, much like a flamenco dancer uses his feet, and one of them began leaking and suddenly there was glowing liquid squirting throughout the air in galaxy-like swirling patterns above the stage; a sort of a fast-moving Milky Way. The audience thought it was intentional, but let's say the dance took itself to the next level. The use of litestix did become popular years later at 'Raves'. However, my effect was achieved by using only the very tips of the litestix, anything more creates too much light and illuminates the dancer as well as the theater.



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